Thursday, October 3, 2013

Polenta rounds with mushroom gravy

This is something I sort of made up based on a few different recipes I have been fiddling with and has become a weeknight staple in our home. 

Amounts are approximate, I have never measured most of these things, but I will make the recipe from this next time and adjust accordingly.

 Vegetarian polenta cakes with mushroom gravy

serves 4 (or 2.5 in our house)

-- 2 tubes pre-cooked polenta (can get in trader joe's and some italian/greek stores)
-- olive oil

-- 3/4 lb sliced mushrooms (crimini is our favorite, white would work also) -- I use 1/2 a costco container.
-- butter
-- 1 shallot, minced
-- 1/4 cup marsala wine
-- 2 cups water
-- two teaspoons better than bullion veggie stock mix
-- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
-- 1/2 cup milk
-- 2 Tablespoons flour


1. In a big fry pan, get some oil heating up. Slice the polenta into 1/2 inch rounds and fry each side on medium heat until brown. This will take longer than you think, approx. 8 minutes a side or so. For Kiran, we fry a few rounds a little less because he has no back teeth to chew.

2. While that is going, heat up some butter in another big fry pan or sauce pan. Put the mushrooms in the pan and fry and stir until they are brown on both sides. This takes a while, maybe 15 minutes?

3. When the mushrooms are almost done, add in the shallots and let those cook. Maybe another 5 minutes.

4. When the shallots are cooked, add in the marsala and let it cook down to remove alcohol, 3 minutes.

5. Add in the water, stock, thyme and bring to a boil. Taste the water for seasonings, if it needs more salt or anything add it here. If this water does not taste good, your gravy will not taste good!

6. In a separate bowl, mix the milk and flour together. While the mushroom and stock mixture is boiling, whisk it rapidly, and pour the milk and flour mixture in a stream into the gravy. Keep whisking and boil the gravy until it thickens.

7. Finally, taste again for seasonings and you are done!

8. Serve the mushroom sauce over the polenta rounds, you may need to chop the mushrooms up more for a toddler who has no back teeth. 

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